How To Build A Catapult
This is a tiny replica of the massive siege engines that were used to tear down castle walls in the Middle Ages. You can make one of these catapults with just a few pieces of wood and a little bit of know how. I will guide you through the whole process. There are lots of different ways to power up a catapult and the way I show you in this tutorial is probably the easiest - you need just a rubber band or two.
This tutorial on how to build a catapult takes you through all the steps in showing you how to do it. Want to see it in action? Here is a quicktime video of this catapult in action - Table Top Troll Catapult video.
Note From Will: If you are looking to buy a Siege Engine kit that you can make yourself you should check out my siege engine store. I have all kinds of trebuchets, catapults and more all available from Amazon.com - The Siege Engine Store
What do you need to build this catapult?
Parts List: You don't need a whole lot of parts or tools to make this catapult and this is just a suggested list and these are the parts I use to make the catapult in this tutorial. You can fudge and replace lots of the parts. If you are creative there is a whole host of parts and things you could use instead of these parts. As you can see though it is pretty basic and you don't need a lot to build a basic catapult.
parts in the picture:
About the metal bar from the axle: This is what I am using but you can use almost anything similar. This is going to be the pivot point for the catapult arm so you need something thin and strong. Here are some suggested things you could use: very firm coathanger wire - the cut off blade of a screwdriver, the metal bar handle from a bucket. Take a look at the close up of the catapult arm pivot on the left. See how it is going to be installed. So think of this and find some kind of metal bar for this. If all else fails you could even use a pencil or a pen. You would just have to drill a hole large enough for it to pass through. I used the axle from a toy car which works perfectly. So you may want to scrounge through your toy box to find one.
That's pretty much everything unless you want to paint and decorate your catapult. So lets start on the tutorial and make one ourselves!
Can you build a catapult like the Table Top Troll? You sure can. This is the pinkpult! Made as a father and daughter project!" It came out great and my thanks to them for sending in the picture!"
Want to Build a Bigger Catapult? I also have this project:
The Backyard OGRE Catapult
This is a powerful two foot long catapult. I have complete instructions and tutorial on how to build it here The OGRE
The Wyvern Torsion catapult
New Catapult Project The Torsion Powered Mangonel. A mangonel is a type of catapult that is true to the real catapults they made in the Middle Ages and Medieval Times because they didn't have rubber bands! They used twisted rope for power and this table top Mangonel does the same. It is more historically accurate. It is also easy to build and pretty powerful for such a little catapult. How to build the Torsion Powered Mangonel Catapult
So how far does this torsion catapult fire? I show you by firing it off and use a measuring tape. I also give you tips and tricks for making your catapult even better. This includes a video that shows everything. Firing Off a Catapult
Office Supply Catapult - Here is a wonderful catapult built totally out of office supplies! It was made by Brandon N. And he used rubber bands, pencils and a few other things from around the office. It has a range of about 15 feet and that can be extended with the use of more rubber bands. See more pics and see his office supply trebuchet too. The Office Supply Catapult
New Project: How to make a Mouse trap Catapult in about 1 minute. You don't need much and this thing is really powerful. You can probably fire small projectiles about 40 feet. How to make a Mouse Trap catapult
If you are looking for something easier to make you might want to try my project on making a popsicle stick catapult. Fast, easy and fun project! Goes great with the paper medieval castle. Make a popsicle stick catapult
Can you make one of these catapults? You sure can and here are some pictures submitted by a web visitor who made one! It came out great and he made a modified release mechanism. This was done by Brendan H. (Thanks Brendan!) Brendan's Torsion Powered Catapult (Mangonel) This is based on my Torsion powered Mangonel Catapult project here
The Easy catapult. This is a great example of making a catapult without using any nails or glue and creating a neat little catapult to have fun with! The Easy Catapult
Another Interesting Project: How to Build a Trebuchet
The Trebuchet was a unique siege engine of the middle ages. It was extraordinarily powerful and was easier for military engineers to build because it used gravity as the energy source. I also have a complete project on how to make the Little Dragon Trebuchet.
Want to build a bigger, better, more powerful or fancier catapult? There are some great books available to you. These books, available at Amazon.com will help take your catapult building to new heights! Pun intended!
The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery - Nice book that shows you how to build ten different catapult projects, moderate wood working and pvc piping kind of stuff. Good book with complete instructions and materials lists.
Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices Want to get a little more creative? This book is off the hook!
These are the homemade machines that you've dreamed of building, from the high-voltage Night Lighter 36 spud gun to the Jam Jar Jet, the Marshmallow Shooter, and the Yagua Blowgun. Including detailed diagrams and supply lists, Gurstelle's simple, step-by-step instructions help workshop warriors at any skill level achieve impressively powerful results.
Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things: How to Turn a Penny into a Radio, Make a Flood Alarm with an Aspirin, Change Milk into Plastic, Extract Water and Electricity ... a TV with Your Ring, and Other Amazing Feats
Gonzo Gizmos: Projects & Devices to Channel Your Inner Geek - It's possible to use optics to roast a hot dog without electricity or a stove; to make a simple radio with just an iron, a few basic circuits and three shiny pennies; and to assemble a simple steam-powered boat with a plastic bottle, a candle, copper tubing and a nail. Of course, only die-hard science nerds would attempt these projects.
Kits and More Siege Engine Projects
Catapults and Siege Engines
Catapult Kit - The Goblin (Will's Catapult kit)
StormTheCastle.com has it's very own goblin catapult for sale on amazon.com You can check it out by rolling over the text or clicking to go to the amazon site.
The Desktop Onager: An Awesome all Wood and Twine War Machine - Fiercely Fend Off Office Rivals -- Conveniently sized to sit on your desk, this intimidating little machine is an actual working reproduction of an onager. -- The weapon is all wood and twine with no metal parts, but it packs a big punch. Load it up with the included wooden balls or get creative with marshmallows, coffee creamers, erasers and more to see how many cubicles they can soar above before landing. -- Properly constructed, the onager has a range from 10 to 20 feet. The ancients were able to use nothing but wood and ropes to build machines that could hurl heavy stones great distances, now you can do the same to enforce peace in your office or dorm room. -- Build it yourself in under three hours, because this kit includes everything you need except for glue and a few simple tools like scissors, sandpaper, and a file. Colors may vary. -- Warning: This is a representative model of a real ancient military weapon. Use only with competent adult supervision.
Catapult Kit Lay Siege To The Doghouse! Right after you build your own working medieval catapult. All you'll need is glue, scissors and a steady hand to construct this wooden, Canadian-made siege engine kit. The finished catapult stands 6" tall x 5" wide x 10" long and will toss assorted stuff (meatballs?) 15 feet or further, depending upon the stuff. Comes with detailed instructions.
Desktop Trebuchet Defend your desktop! The mere presence of this striking machine on your desk will induce fear and respect among your peers. Take charge and besiege your opponents with a fully functional, genuine trebuchet for your desk! It really works! It takes about two to four hours to assemble, which is a joy in itself with the hand selected wood and computer-controlled, precision cut parts. The professionally designed kit and fully detailed instructions - 10 pages of descriptions and tips, with of photos of every step - makes assembly a breeze. All you really need is some glue and a pair of scissors. For a more refined look, a little sandpaper and a small, round file would be helpful, but are entirely optional. Performance! This mighty desktop artillery is capable of hurling the wooden ball projectiles (included) over twenty feet! Just load-up the counterweight bucket with about 150 pennies and you are ready to go!
What good is a catapult if you don't have a castle to attack!
I have another project you might like. It is the Paper Castle and it has everything you could want in a castle making project including all the art work you can download. You just follow the instructions and make it yourself with some glue and cereal boxes. Build a Paper and Cardboard Castle It also has a learning sheet that helps to learn about castles when you are building it.
Storm The Castle Catapult Game - Build a Popsicle stick catapult and hurl paper balls at the castle. How to make the Game and the catapult are here
Table of Contents for this tutorial
Check out My Store: Siege Engines you can buy at amazon.com
Wills Goblin Catapult is now available on Amazon.com:
Other Siege Engine Projects
More Creative Projects